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From West Midlands Police:

A POLICE sniffer dog tracked two off-licence robbery suspects from an abandoned vehicle to a nearby snooker hall in West Heath last night (Tuesday 19 March).

Officers were called to Alvechurch Wines and Spirits in Alvechurch Road after two men stormed into the shop and hit the shopkeeper over the head with a baseball bat.

They then stole alcohol and cigarettes before speeding off in a white van at around 10.30pm.

The victim was able to provide police with a partial number plate for the vehicle and officers quickly searched the area and found it parked in a street nearby.

A police dog then tracked the suspected robbers to a local snooker club where they were arrested.

As a result two men are now in police custody and will be spoken to by detectives about the robbery.

Detective Constable Sarah Cox, from Force CID, said: “Officers acted extremely quickly on the information that was provided by the victim and with the help of one of our dog units the suspects were quickly tracked down.

“This was a nasty robbery where the shopkeeper was beaten and was fortunate to only suffer minor injuries.

“Our dogs are highly trained and able to follow scents over long distances and once again this case has proven the importance of our dog unit in finding suspects who flee the scenes of crime.”

West Midlands Police runs the largest, most successful police dog breed scheme in the UK with more than 80 per cent of all dogs going through the training programme becoming operational and helping combat crime.

Anyone who witnessed the robbery is asked to contact police on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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